Japan’s devastating 8.9 earthquake and tsunami in the beginning of March shook the world. Like me, many of us have friends and family affected by the disaster. The vibrations were immediately felt, and many responded. In an effort to support the countless victims left homeless and in shelters in Japan as a result, four partner stores in 2 North Shore have joined Soles4Souls to bring aid to Japan. Starting today (April 1), bring by used shoes to directly benefit the victims in Japan (please, appropriate closed-toe donations only). Drop-off bins will be located at Rock/Creek, Greenlife Grocery, New Moon Gallery and Results Physiotherapy. The collection drive will run two weeks ending at the 2 North Shore Earth Day Celebration, April 16.
Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls notes that shoes, especially, are necessary for relief efforts because of increases exposure to broken glass, metal and raw sewage. The Nashville-based non-profit, founded in 2005, has collected and distributed nearly 12 million pairs of shoes to nearly 125 countries worldwide.
“We are saddened by the devastation and are continuing to monitor the developing effects of this powerful quake,” said Elsey.
“As with any natural disaster, our concerns also turn to the nations like Indonesia and the Philippines where the damage could be greater because of the lack of resources. We are fully equipped for an extensive response should the need prove to be as widespread as our partners are predicting.”
Rock/Creek and 2 North Shore have always been dedicated to supporting local, national and international non-profits including humanitarian and environmental causes (check out our past clippings for past initiatives and involvement). Last year, Rock/Creek and 2 North Shore partnered with Advantage Program and the Children’s Nutrition Program of Haiti, local non-profits relief agencies in Haiti. In an overwhelming response to the initiative we collected over 3,000 pairs of shoes.
“We were stunned the response was so huge,” says Meleah Smith, 2 North Shore Marketing Coordinator. “This year, we hope Chattanooga can help us provide just as much aid to Japanese victims.”
Have an old pair of shoes? Bring ‘em in. Our hope this year is to match and surpass last year’s collection. We’ll be tracking the drive on this blog for the next two weeks, so check back for more updates on how we’re doing. I donated my pair, where are yours?